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Runout model evaluation based on back-calculation of building damage

We evaluated the ability of three debris-flow runout models (RAMMS, FLO2D and D-Claw) to predict the number of damaged buildings in simulations of the 9 January 2019 Montecito, California, debris-flow event. Observations of building damage after the event were combined with OpenStreetMap building footprints to construct a database of all potentially impacted buildings. At the estimated event volum
Katherine R. Barnhart, Jason W. Kean

Distribution of large boulders on the deposit of the West Salt Creek rock avalanche, western Colorado

On May 25, 2014, a 54.5-million cubic meter rock avalanche in the West Salt Creek valley, Mesa County, Colorado, traveled 4.6 kilometers, leaving a deposit that covers about 2.2 square kilometers. To check the particle-size distribution of the deposit for information about the high mobility of the avalanche, we estimated boulder distribution density for the entire deposit by counting 1-meter (m) o
Adrian C. Lewis, Rex L. Baum, Jeffrey A. Coe

The influence of large woody debris on post-wildfire debris flow sediment storage

Debris flows transport large quantities of water and granular material, such as sediment and wood, and this mixture can have devastating impacts on life and infrastructure. The proportion of large woody debris (LWD) incorporated into debris flows can be enhanced in forested areas recently burned by wildfire, because wood recruitment into channels accelerates in burned forests. In this study, we ex
Francis K. Rengers, Luke A. McGuire, Katherine R. Barnhart, Ann Youberg, Daniel Cadol, Alexander Gorr, Olivia Joan Andrea Khoury Hoch, Rebecca Beers, Jason W. Kean

The rainfall intensity-duration control of debris flows after wildfire

Increased wildfire activity in the western United States has exposed regional gaps in our understanding of postfire debris-flow generation. To address this problem, we characterized flows in an unstudied area to test the rainfall intensity-duration control of the hazard. Our rainfall measurements and field observations from the northern Sierra Nevada (California, USA) show that debris flows result
Matthew A. Thomas, Donald N. Lindsay, David B. Cavagnaro, Jason W. Kean, Scott W. McCoy, Andrew Paul Graber

Guidance for parameterizing post-fire hydrologic models with in situ infiltration measurements

Wildfire can alter soil-hydraulic properties, often resulting in an increased prevalence of infiltration-excess overland flow and greater potential for debris-flow hazards. Mini disk tension infiltrometers (MDIs) can be used to estimate soil hydraulic properties, such as field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) and wetting front potential (Hf), and their spatial variability following wildfire.
T. Liu, Luke A. McGuire, Ann Youberg, Alexander N. Gorr, Francis K. Rengers

User needs assessment for postfire debris-flow inundation hazard products

Debris flows are a type of mass movement that is more likely after wildfires, and while existing hazard assessments evaluate the rainfall intensities that are likely to trigger debris flows, no operational hazard assessment exists for identifying the areas where they will run out after initiation. Fifteen participants who work in a wide range of job functions associated with southern California po
Katherine R. Barnhart, Veronica Romero, Katherine R. Clifford

Prolonged influence of urbanization on landslide susceptibility

Landslides pose a threat to life and infrastructure and are influenced by anthropogenic modifications associated with land development. These modifications can affect susceptibility to landslides, and thus quantifying their influence on landslide occurrence can help design sustainable development efforts. Although landslide susceptibility has been shown to increase following urban expansion, the l
Tyler Rohan, Eitan Shelef, Benjamin B. Mirus, Tim Coleman

Revising supraglacial rock avalanche magnitudes and frequencies in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

The frequency of large supraglacial landslides (rock avalanches) occurring in glacial environments is thought to be increasing due to feedbacks with climate warming and permafrost degradation. However, it is difficult to (i) test this; (ii) establish cause–effect relationships; and (iii) determine associated lag-times, due to both temporal and spatial biases in detection rates. Here we applied the
William Smith, Stuart A. Dunning, Neil Ross, Jon Telling, Erin K. Bessette-Kirton, Dan H. Shugar, Jeffrey A. Coe, M. Geertsema

Simulating debris flow and levee formation in the 2D shallow flow model D-Claw: Channelized and unconfined flow

Debris flow runout poses a hazard to life and infrastructure. The expansion of human population into mountainous areas and onto alluvial fans increases the need to predict and mitigate debris flow runout hazards. Debris flows on unconfined alluvial fans can exhibit spontaneous self-channelization through levee formation that reduces lateral spreading and extends runout distances compared to unchan
Ryan P. Jones, Francis K. Rengers, Katherine R. Barnhart, David L. George, Dennis M. Staley, Jason W. Kean

Postfire debris flow hazards—Tips to keep you safe

Often referred to as “mudflows,” debris flows are a type of landslide made up of a rapidly moving mixture of dirt, rocks, trees, and water (and sometimes ash) that start on a hillside and travel downvalley. They can easily overflow channels and severely damage houses, vehicles, or other structures. Areas burned by wildfires are especially susceptible to these hazards, which can be triggered by sto
Steven Sobieszczyk, Jason W. Kean

Landslides triggered by the 2002 M 7.9 Denali Fault earthquake, Alaska, USA

The 2002 M 7.9 Denali earthquake in Alaska, USA, was the largest inland earthquake in North America in nearly 150 years. The earthquake involved oblique thrusting but mostly strike-slip motion, and faults ruptured the ground surface over 330 km. Fault rupture occurred in a rugged, mountainous, subarctic environment with extensive permafrost and variable glaciation, geology, and groundwater presenc
William Schulz

Landslides triggered by the August 14, 2021, magnitude 7.2 Nippes, Haiti, earthquake

The August 14, 2021, magnitude 7.2 Nippes, Haiti, earthquake triggered thousands of landslides on the Tiburon Peninsula. The landslides directly caused fatalities and damage and impeded response efforts by blocking roads and causing other infrastructure damage. Adverse effects of the landslides likely will continue for months to years. This report presents an assessment of potential postearthquake
Sabrina N. Martinez, Kate E. Allstadt, Stephen L. Slaughter, Robert G. Schmitt, Elaine Collins, Lauren N. Schaefer, Sonia Ellison